C arole Russell was passionate about children.

But more than that, she was passionate about making sure all children have access to the early childhood education they need to learn and grow. That’s why David Payson, Russell’s husband, is establishing a new endowment fund through Keene State College in her memory.

The Carole Russell Memorial Endowment Fund will provide tuition assistance to at least one child living in Keene Housing to attend the college’s Child Development Center, where Russell worked for 17 years.

After Russell died from breast cancer in 2015, Payson, a retired Keene State professor, knew he wanted to do something to honor her memory.

“All her life, my wife was an early childhood educator,” Payson said. “ ... Educating young children was her passion, and I wanted to do something to help continue that passion after she passed.”

The Child Development Center serves children from 4 months old to 4 years and 11 months old and also provides opportunities for college students studying education to get hands-on practice teaching with guidance from experienced teachers and education professionals.

According to Deirdre McPartlin, interim director of the Child Development Center, Russell’s legacy lives on at the center today. One of her biggest contributions was helping to establish the Early Sprouts program, an early childhood nutrition curriculum developed by Keene State Professor Karrie Kalich.

“I can see her in many of our policies and procedures that she had crafted or co-wrote over the years,” McPartlin said. “Her input was highly respected and she really had a leadership role here in terms of shaping a lot of our practices here at the CDC.”

The Keene Housing Kids Collaborative will be responsible for screening families to determine the scholarship recipients, according to Sara Barrett, senior engagement officer in the college’s Office for Advancement.

To be eligible, families will also need to apply for an N.H. Childcare Scholarship through the state health department to further subsidize tuition costs, which vary from about $3,300 per year to about $8,100 per year, depending on the child’s age and the frequency of care.

The hope is to support more than one child as the endowment fund grows.

“We’re really hoping to focus on bringing in those kids, those children who really would otherwise not have any opportunity to access this type of early childhood development,” Barrett said.

To contribute to the Carole Russell Memorial Endowment Fund, visit www.keene.edu/donate and designate your donation to the fund, or mail checks to Advancement Services, Keene State College, 229 Main St., Keene, NH 03435.

Students in Stephanie DiMetteo’s 1st- and 2nd-grade class at James Faulkner Elementary School in Stoddard have been collecting school supplies for students displaced by the gas explosions in the Merrimack Valley of Massachusetts last month.

The class has been learning about what a community helper is and decided to collect the supplies to illustrate what being a global community helper looks like. They collected more than $300 worth of supplies, including binders, folders, crayons, colored pencils, markers, writing paper, backpacks, scissors, erasers, rulers, glue sticks and pencils.

Peer mentors and student councilors from South Meadow School in Peterborough recently attended the 2018 Middle Level Student Leadership Conference at Southern New Hampshire University in Manchester.

During the conference, presented by the New England League of Middle Schools, the students participated in team-building and communication activities and learned about what it takes to be a strong leader. Together, the South Meadow School students created an action plan during the conference to implement upon returning to their school.

The New Hampshire Association of School Principals is now accepting nominations for Principal of the Year. The award recognizes elementary, middle, assistant and high school principals who have fostered improvement in their schools and worked to create a positive learning environment.

The winners will be honored at an event on Jan. 10, 2019, at the Grappone Center in Concord, which will also feature an address from national educator Kim Marshall.

Nomination forms are available on the association’s website, www.nhasp.org, and can also be submitted by calling 225-3431. Nominations will be accepted until Nov. 15.

What’s going on in your school? Education reporter Meg McIntyre can be reached at 352-1234, extension 1404, or mmcintyre@keenesentinel.com. Follow her on Twitter